May 11, 2011

Lawton leaps into mayoral fray

Here is the written announcement that independent mayoral contender Gary Lawton sent out:

Today I would like to announce that I will be running for Mayor of Bristol as an Independent Candidate.
The reason I am running is very simple to work on making our government smaller and work more efficiently. It has become to big and overstaffed and overpaid and it needs to stop. It needs to work more closely with its citizens and their ideas to get things done instead of just doing as it pleases.
The question on all of your minds now is, what I plan to do ? Well, let me tell you a few ways. The first thing is to start downsizing our city departments, merging departments that overlap for example combining the public works department and the parks department. We could centralize them in one building, get rid of excess equipment. We will offer early retirement to those eligible. We can rent some equipment on a as need basis , this way we would not have to pay for insurance or maintenance on this equipment. I will say up front I know this will meet with a lot of resistance. I will be told it can't be done or that it should not be done, but if Bristol is going to become leaner and reduce cost at the top then we must certainly try this.
I will also fight all attempts at moving the Senior Center from Stafford Ave to the Boulevard. The current Senior Center for some has become like a second home and who wants to be moved from their home. I also feel our seniors deserve more consideration to their concerns . City hall should be listening to them and not telling them what to do. They are not children. They are our greatest generation and should be treated with the respect and admiration they deserve. It also makes me wonder why we would renovate the Boulevard for them when it will probably cost more to do that when we could take that money and turn around and use it to upgrade the current Senior Center.
I will also work to form a committee of local small, medium and large business leaders to get their ideas on how we can bring other businesses to Bristol. I would ask them what is it that keeps them in Bristol or brought them to Bristol and why do they stay. I think this is a great way to stay in touch with the businesses, to quickly address any problems they have and also any ideas . Some of these businesses have been here 10, 20 30 years and some even longer they are a vital resource on how to bring more business here and we should use all avenues to do so. If we don't then we have our selves to blame.
Let us not forget the young people or Bristol either . They are our future here. All to often we dismiss the our youth and that is a mistake we must stop. We must use their youth, energy, ideas, whatever it takes to keep our youth and attract more to our city. They offer so much more than we can ever imagine and to not tap this, to not use this to bring Bristol forward just makes no sense. They can expose us to new types of music, art, recreational types of things that some of us may not even be aware of. They will also be vital in when the Boulevard shuts down because I see them as helping the city attract some sort of performing art type of center. I know Mr. Flores is a fairly well known rapper, would it not be great if he could turn some of the classrooms into recording studio's for other who want to record their own music or perhaps a movie, we could have a future Steven Spielberg or Will Smith? How exciting such a thing would be and why not Bristol?
You by now are saying what about taxes. I will be honest I am not going to promise something I can't keep, turns my stomach. I will promise this though I will work hard to keep our taxes down and if the prospect ever presents itself that they can be lowered and not hurt the quality of life here in Bristol I will work hard to do so. To promise that I will lower taxes right off the bat, well it's just wrong, no one can say that because you cannot know what the future holds, all you can do is plan for all things and hope the best happens. You have been a sold that bill of goods before and now we are going to pay for it, the question is when will we stop it?
Over the last few months I have started talking to the citizens of Bristol at the grocery store, getting gas, standing waiting for food and getting their thoughts, and any thing else they feel an elected official should know and I am hoping to talk to more and hope that you as citizens will talk to me when you see me, I encourage you to, I want you to. I want all of Bristol to remember that the Mayor and city councilors work for you the citizens of Bristol not the other way around. Thank you.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at

No comments: